Practical Science on Movement and Pain

Category Archives: central nervous system

A Systems Perspective on Motor Control, Part One

Dynamic systems theory (DST) is gaining influence in the world of movement rehab and performance as way to explain how motor learning is optimized. The basic premise is that movement behavior is the result of complex interactions between many different subsystems in the body, the task at hand, and the environment. Given this complexity, systemsRead More

Guest Post from Jamie Hale: Exercise and the Brain

For today’s post I am very pleased to offer a guest submission from Jamie Hale, M.S. Jamie is an experimental researcher specializing in behavioral nutrition and cognitive science. He is also a science writer, blogger, exercise and nutrition consultant, outdoor enthusiast, lecturer and founder of Knowledge Summit Research Group. He has conducted primary research inRead More

Play, Variability and Motor Learning

I recently had the privilege of attending a continuing education class at Athletes Performance in Arizona, which is one of the top athletic training facilities in the country, run by Mark Verstegen. It’s a beautiful facility, with a nice grass field, an amazing workout room, and lots of elite athletes walking around and training. It wasRead More

Video of My Talk on Threat and Performance

A couple of weeks ago I did a talk Parkour Visions, a local gym here in Seattle. (You may recall my recent post of an interview with the co-founder of the gym Rafe Kelly. ) The talk was about the effects of perceived threat on physical performance. The basic message was that if the centralRead More

Review of Moseley/Hodges Conference Part Four

In this post I will conclude my review of Lorimer Moseley’s talk. Here are links to parts one, two and three. Before getting started with part four, which mostly covers how nociceptive signals are modulated, I wanted to share a little phrase that Moseley repeated on numerous occasions. “We are fearfully and wonderfully made.” HeRead More

Review of Moseley/Hodges Talk Part Two

This is part two of my review of the three day conference by Lorimer Moseley and Paul Hodges on pain and motor control. If you haven’t read the first part please take a quick look here before reading on so you are up to speed. I said it before and I’ll say it again, thisRead More

Review of Conference with Moseley and Hodges on Pain and Motor Control

This weekend I went to Portland, Oregon to attend a conference sponsored by the APTA Section on Women’s Health, featuring talks by Lorimer Moseley and Paul Hodges on the issues of chronic pain and motor control. It was a fantastic experience, and most of the time I was buzzing with geekcitement. Jealous you missed it?Read More

Parasitic Emotions – Can Movement Training Improve Impulse Control?

In part one of this series I introduced the idea of a “parasitic” movement, a term coined by Moshe Feldenkrais. It means an undesirable movement which follows uncontrollably after an intended movement. For example, imagine trying to hit a certain key on the piano with your middle finger, but you end up activating your ringRead More

More on Fatigue: Math Makes You Weak

In a previous post I discussed the idea that fatigue, much like pain, is a subjective experience created by the brain to protect you from physical threats caused by the stress of heavy physical exertion. So when we experience fatigue, it’s not so much that the body can’t, it’s that the brain won’t. An interestingRead More

Is Fatigue All in Your Head?

I just heard of a new series of studies (hat tip to Diane Jacobs) which provide a very good example of how the brain acts as a central governor on physical performance.* For a long time, research on the causes of muscle fatigue have focused exclusively on changes in the muscle itself, while ignoring theRead More